50 U.S. Code § 1861 - Access to certain business records for foreign intelligence and international terrorism investigations

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(a) Application for order; conduct of investigation generally
(1) Subject to paragraph (3), the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation or a designee of the Director (whose rank shall be no lower than Assistant Special Agent in Charge) may make an application for an order requiring the production of any tangible things (including books, records, papers, documents, and other items) for an investigation to obtain foreign intelligence information not concerning a United States person or to protect against international terrorism or clandestine intelligence activities, provided that such investigation of a United States person is not conducted solely upon the basis of activities protected by the first amendment to the Constitution.
(2) An investigation conducted under this section shall—
(A) be conducted under guidelines approved by the Attorney General under Executive Order 12333 (or a successor order); and
(B) not be conducted of a United States person solely upon the basis of activities protected by the first amendment to the Constitution of the United States.
(3) In the case of an application for an order requiring the production of library circulation records, library patron lists, book sales records, book customer lists, firearms sales records, tax return records, educational records, or medical records containing information that would identify a person, the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation may delegate the authority to make such application to either the Deputy Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation or the Executive Assistant Director for National Security (or any successor position). The Deputy Director or the Executive Assistant Director may not further delegate such authority.
(b) Recipient and contents of application
Each application under this section—
(1) shall be made to—
(A) a judge of the court established by section 1803 (a) of this title; or
(B) a United States Magistrate Judge under chapter 43 of title 28, who is publicly designated by the Chief Justice of the United States to have the power to hear applications and grant orders for the production of tangible things under this section on behalf of a judge of that court; and
(2) shall include—
(A) a statement of facts showing that there are reasonable grounds to believe that the tangible things sought are relevant to an authorized investigation (other than a threat assessment) conducted in accordance with subsection (a)(2) to obtain foreign intelligence information not concerning a United States person or to protect against international terrorism or clandestine intelligence activities, such things being presumptively relevant to an authorized investigation if the applicant shows in the statement of the facts that they pertain to—
(i) a foreign power or an agent of a foreign power;
(ii) the activities of a suspected agent of a foreign power who is the subject of such authorized investigation; or
(iii) an individual in contact with, or known to, a suspected agent of a foreign power who is the subject of such authorized investigation; and
(B) an enumeration of the minimization procedures adopted by the Attorney General under subsection (g) that are applicable to the retention and dissemination by the Federal Bureau of Investigation of any tangible things to be made available to the Federal Bureau of Investigation based on the order requested in such application.
(c) Ex parte judicial order of approval
(1) Upon an application made pursuant to this section, if the judge finds that the application meets the requirements of subsections (a) and (b), the judge shall enter an ex parte order as requested, or as modified, approving the release of tangible things. Such order shall direct that minimization procedures adopted pursuant to subsection (g) be followed.
(2) An order under this subsection—
(A) shall describe the tangible things that are ordered to be produced with sufficient particularity to permit them to be fairly identified;
(B) shall include the date on which the tangible things must be provided, which shall allow a reasonable period of time within which the tangible things can be assembled and made available;
(C) shall provide clear and conspicuous notice of the principles and procedures described in subsection (d);
(D) may only require the production of a tangible thing if such thing can be obtained with a subpoena duces tecum issued by a court of the United States in aid of a grand jury investigation or with any other order issued by a court of the United States directing the production of records or tangible things; and
(E) shall not disclose that such order is issued for purposes of an investigation described in subsection (a).
(d) Nondisclosure
(1) No person shall disclose to any other person that the Federal Bureau of Investigation has sought or obtained tangible things pursuant to an order under this section, other than to—
(A) those persons to whom disclosure is necessary to comply with such order;
(B) an attorney to obtain legal advice or assistance with respect to the production of things in response to the order; or
(C) other persons as permitted by the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation or the designee of the Director.
(2)
(A) A person to whom disclosure is made pursuant to paragraph (1) shall be subject to the nondisclosure requirements applicable to a person to whom an order is directed under this section in the same manner as such person.
(B) Any person who discloses to a person described in subparagraph (A), (B), or (C) of paragraph (1) that the Federal Bureau of Investigation has sought or obtained tangible things pursuant to an order under this section shall notify such person of the nondisclosure requirements of this subsection.
(C) At the request of the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation or the designee of the Director, any person making or intending to make a disclosure under subparagraph (A) or (C) of paragraph (1) shall identify to the Director or such designee the person to whom such disclosure will be made or to whom such disclosure was made prior to the request.
(e) Liability for good faith disclosure; waiver
A person who, in good faith, produces tangible things under an order pursuant to this section shall not be liable to any other person for such production. Such production shall not be deemed to constitute a waiver of any privilege in any other proceeding or context.
(f) Judicial review of FISA orders
(1) In this subsection—
(A) the term “production order” means an order to produce any tangible thing under this section; and
(B) the term “nondisclosure order” means an order imposed under subsection (d).
(2)
(A)
(i) A person receiving a production order may challenge the legality of that order by filing a petition with the pool established by section 1803 (e)(1) of this title. Not less than 1 year after the date of the issuance of the production order, the recipient of a production order may challenge the nondisclosure order imposed in connection with such production order by filing a petition to modify or set aside such nondisclosure order, consistent with the requirements of subparagraph (C), with the pool established by section 1803 (e)(1) of this title.
(ii) The presiding judge shall immediately assign a petition under clause (i) to 1 of the judges serving in the pool established by section 1803 (e)(1) of this title. Not later than 72 hours after the assignment of such petition, the assigned judge shall conduct an initial review of the petition. If the assigned judge determines that the petition is frivolous, the assigned judge shall immediately deny the petition and affirm the production order or nondisclosure order. If the assigned judge determines the petition is not frivolous, the assigned judge shall promptly consider the petition in accordance with the procedures established under section 1803 (e)(2) of this title.
(iii) The assigned judge shall promptly provide a written statement for the record of the reasons for any determination under this subsection. Upon the request of the Government, any order setting aside a nondisclosure order shall be stayed pending review pursuant to paragraph (3).
(B) A judge considering a petition to modify or set aside a production order may grant such petition only if the judge finds that such order does not meet the requirements of this section or is otherwise unlawful. If the judge does not modify or set aside the production order, the judge shall immediately affirm such order, and order the recipient to comply therewith.
(C)
(i) A judge considering a petition to modify or set aside a nondisclosure order may grant such petition only if the judge finds that there is no reason to believe that disclosure may endanger the national security of the United States, interfere with a criminal, counterterrorism, or counterintelligence investigation, interfere with diplomatic relations, or endanger the life or physical safety of any person.
(ii) If, upon filing of such a petition, the Attorney General, Deputy Attorney General, an Assistant Attorney General, or the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation certifies that disclosure may endanger the national security of the United States or interfere with diplomatic relations, such certification shall be treated as conclusive, unless the judge finds that the certification was made in bad faith.
(iii) If the judge denies a petition to modify or set aside a nondisclosure order, the recipient of such order shall be precluded for a period of 1 year from filing another such petition with respect to such nondisclosure order.
(D) Any production or nondisclosure order not explicitly modified or set aside consistent with this subsection shall remain in full effect.
(3) A petition for review of a decision under paragraph (2) to affirm, modify, or set aside an order by the Government or any person receiving such order shall be made to the court of review established under section 1803 (b) of this title, which shall have jurisdiction to consider such petitions. The court of review shall provide for the record a written statement of the reasons for its decision and, on petition by the Government or any person receiving such order for writ of certiorari, the record shall be transmitted under seal to the Supreme Court of the United States, which shall have jurisdiction to review such decision.
(4) Judicial proceedings under this subsection shall be concluded as expeditiously as possible. The record of proceedings, including petitions filed, orders granted, and statements of reasons for decision, shall be maintained under security measures established by the Chief Justice of the United States, in consultation with the Attorney General and the Director of National Intelligence.
(5) All petitions under this subsection shall be filed under seal. In any proceedings under this subsection, the court shall, upon request of the Government, review ex parte and in camera any Government submission, or portions thereof, which may include classified information.
(g) Minimization procedures
(1) In general
Not later than 180 days after March 9, 2006, the Attorney General shall adopt specific minimization procedures governing the retention and dissemination by the Federal Bureau of Investigation of any tangible things, or information therein, received by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in response to an order under this subchapter.
(2) Defined
In this section, the term “minimization procedures” means—
(A) specific procedures that are reasonably designed in light of the purpose and technique of an order for the production of tangible things, to minimize the retention, and prohibit the dissemination, of nonpublicly available information concerning unconsenting United States persons consistent with the need of the United States to obtain, produce, and disseminate foreign intelligence information;
(B) procedures that require that nonpublicly available information, which is not foreign intelligence information, as defined in section 1801 (e)(1) of this title, shall not be disseminated in a manner that identifies any United States person, without such person’s consent, unless such person’s identity is necessary to understand foreign intelligence information or assess its importance; and
(C) notwithstanding subparagraphs (A) and (B), procedures that allow for the retention and dissemination of information that is evidence of a crime which has been, is being, or is about to be committed and that is to be retained or disseminated for law enforcement purposes.
(h) Use of information
Information acquired from tangible things received by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in response to an order under this subchapter concerning any United States person may be used and disclosed by Federal officers and employees without the consent of the United States person only in accordance with the minimization procedures adopted pursuant to subsection (g). No otherwise privileged information acquired from tangible things received by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in accordance with the provisions of this subchapter shall lose its privileged character. No information acquired from tangible things received by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in response to an order under this subchapter may be used or disclosed by Federal officers or employees except for lawful purposes.

Source

(Pub. L. 95–511, title V, § 501, as added Pub. L. 107–56, title II, § 215,Oct. 26, 2001, 115 Stat. 287; amended Pub. L. 107–108, title III, § 314(a)(6),Dec. 28, 2001, 115 Stat. 1402; Pub. L. 109–177, title I, §§ 102(b)(1), 106 (a)–(e), (f)(2), (g), Mar. 9, 2006, 120 Stat. 195–198; Pub. L. 109–178, §§ 3, 4 (a),Mar. 9, 2006, 120 Stat. 278, 280; Pub. L. 111–118, div. B, § 1004(a),Dec. 19, 2009, 123 Stat. 3470; Pub. L. 111–141, § 1(a),Feb. 27, 2010, 124 Stat. 37; Pub. L. 112–3, § 2(a),Feb. 25, 2011, 125 Stat. 5; Pub. L. 112–14, § 2(a),May 26, 2011, 125 Stat. 216.)
Amendment of Section

Pub. L. 109–177, title I, § 102(b),Mar. 9, 2006, 120 Stat. 195, as amended by Pub. L. 111–118, div. B, § 1004(a),Dec. 19, 2009, 123 Stat. 3470; Pub. L. 111–141, § 1(a),Feb. 27, 2010, 124 Stat. 37; Pub. L. 112–3, § 2(a),Feb. 25, 2011, 125 Stat. 5; Pub. L. 112–14, § 2(a),May 26, 2011, 125 Stat. 216, provided that, effective June 1, 2015, with certain exceptions, this section is amended to read as it read on Oct. 25, 2001: § 1861. Definitions
As used in this subchapter:
(1) The terms “foreign power”, “agent of a foreign power”, “foreign intelligence information”, “international terrorism”, and “Attorney General” shall have the same meanings as in section 1801 of this title.
(2) The term “common carrier” means any person or entity transporting people or property by land, rail, water, or air for compensation.
(3) The term “physical storage facility” means any business or entity that provides space for the storage of goods or materials, or services related to the storage of goods or materials, to the public or any segment thereof.
(4) The term “public accommodation facility” means any inn, hotel, motel, or other establishment that provides lodging to transient guests.
(5) The term “vehicle rental facility” means any person or entity that provides vehicles for rent, lease, loan, or other similar use to the public or any segment thereof.
See 2006, 2009, 2010, and 2011 Amendment notes below.
References in Text

Executive Order No. 12333, referred to in subsec. (a)(2)(A), is set out as a note under section 3001 of this title.
Prior Provisions

A prior section 1861,Pub. L. 95–511, title V, § 501, as added Pub. L. 105–272, title VI, § 602,Oct. 20, 1998, 112 Stat. 2410, defined terms used in this subchapter, prior to repeal by Pub. L. 107–56, title II, § 215,Oct. 26, 2001, 115 Stat. 287. See Amendment of Section note above.
Amendments

2011—Pub. L. 112–14amended directory language of Pub. L. 109–177, § 102(b)(1). See 2006 Amendment note below.
Pub. L. 112–3amended directory language of Pub. L. 109–177, § 102(b)(1). See 2006 Amendment note below.
2010—Pub. L. 111–141amended directory language of Pub. L. 109–177, § 102(b)(1). See 2006 Amendment note below.
2009—Pub. L. 111–118amended directory language of Pub. L. 109–177, § 102(b)(1). See 2006 Amendment note below.
2006—Pub. L. 109–177, § 102(b)(1), as amended by Pub. L. 111–118, Pub. L. 111–141, Pub. L. 112–3, and Pub. L. 112–14, amended section effective June 1, 2015, so as to read as it read on Oct. 25, 2001. Prior to amendment, section related to access to certain business records for foreign intelligence and international terrorism investigations.
Subsec. (a)(1). Pub. L. 109–177, § 106(a)(1), substituted “Subject to paragraph (3), the Director” for “The Director”.
Subsec. (a)(3). Pub. L. 109–177, § 106(a)(2), added par. (3).
Subsec. (b)(2). Pub. L. 109–177, § 106(b), amended par. (2) generally. Prior to amendment, par. (2) read as follows: “shall specify that the records concerned are sought for an authorized investigation conducted in accordance with subsection (a)(2) of this section to obtain foreign intelligence information not concerning a United States person or to protect against international terrorism or clandestine intelligence activities.”
Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 109–177, § 106(c), (d), amended subsec. (c) generally. Prior to amendment, text read as follows:
“(1) Upon an application made pursuant to this section, the judge shall enter an ex parte order as requested, or as modified, approving the release of records if the judge finds that the application meets the requirements of this section.
“(2) An order under this subsection shall not disclose that it is issued for purposes of an investigation described in subsection (a) of this section.”
Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 109–177, § 106(e), amended subsec. (d) generally. Prior to amendment, text read as follows: “No person shall disclose to any other person (other than those persons necessary to produce the tangible things under this section) that the Federal Bureau of Investigation has sought or obtained tangible things under this section.”
Subsec. (d)(2)(C). Pub. L. 109–178, § 4(a), amended subpar. (C) generally. Prior to amendment, subpar. (C) read as follows: “At the request of the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation or the designee of the Director, any person making or intending to make a disclosure under this section shall identify to the Director or such designee the person to whom such disclosure will be made or to whom such disclosure was made prior to the request, but in no circumstance shall a person be required to inform the Director or such designee that the person intends to consult an attorney to obtain legal advice or legal assistance.”
Subsec. (f). Pub. L. 109–178, § 3, amended subsec. (f) generally. Prior to amendment, subsec. (f) provided for judicial proceedings relating to challenging an order to produce tangible things.
Pub. L. 109–177, § 106(f)(2), added subsec. (f).
Subsecs. (g), (h). Pub. L. 109–177, § 106(g), added subsecs. (g) and (h).
2001—Subsec. (a)(1). Pub. L. 107–108inserted “to obtain foreign intelligence information not concerning a United States person or” after “an investigation”.
Effective Date of 2006 Amendment

Amendment by section 102(b)(1) ofPub. L. 109–177effective June 1, 2015, except that former provisions to continue in effect with respect to any particular foreign intelligence investigation that began before June 1, 2015, or with respect to any particular offense or potential offense that began or occurred before June 1, 2015, see section 102(b) ofPub. L. 109–177, set out as a note under section 1805 of this title.

 

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